In a transparent attempt to divert attention from their embattled president, Republicans are going back to the "investigate Clinton" well.
Adopting a surreal political strategy of effectively treating private citizen Hillary Clinton as if she were president of the United States, Republicans announced Tuesday not one but two congressional investigations targeting her — one of which stretches back nearly a decade.
One of the inquiries will revisit, yet again, the issue of Clinton’s private emails during her time as secretary of state, and specifically how the Department of Justice handled that inquiry. Essentially, it’s an investigation about an investigation.
The other will address the 2010 sale of American uranium production capability to a Russian state-run energy conglomerate, and the Obama administration’s approval of that sale — a supposed scandal that was debunked in 2015.
Both investigations smack of a deliberate and desperate attempt to move the focus away from Donald Trump and his White House, which has been squirming under scrutiny throughout his less than one year in office, particularly surrounding the mountain of evidence pointing towards Russia’s interference in the election on his behalf.
"Acting on the urging of the President who has repeatedly denied the intelligence agencies' conclusions regarding Russian involvement in our election, they are designed to distract attention and pursue the President's preferred goal – attacking Clinton and Obama," said California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democratic lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee.
Democratic Reps. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and John Conyers of Michigan concurred in a joint statement: "This new investigation is a massive diversion to distract from the lack of Republican oversight of the Trump Administration and the national security threat that Russia poses."
The announcements also come as the administration faces mounting questions about a deadly ISIS-led raid in Niger in early October, which killed four American troops. Not only is the Pentagon struggling to explain the deadly ambush, but Trump has triggered a weeks-long running controversy by refusing to honor the fallen soldiers, then belatedly disrespecting the family of one with a dismissive phone call to his widow.
Trump went so far as to directly challenge the honesty of Gold Star wife Myeshia Johnson, two days after she buried her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson.
To date, the Republican-controlled Congress has not authorized any investigations into the deadly Niger raid.
Now, trying to change the subject, Republicans have decided to spend months and possibly years, as well as millions in taxpayer dollars, to re-litigate the same old Fox News Clinton "conspiracies" that have been thoroughly debunked.
It’s unprecedented in modern American history for one political party to launch investigations into the other party’s losing presidential candidate, and do it nearly one year after the election is over.
But committed to maintaining Clinton as a public villain, and to relentlessly attacking her as if she were president, Republicans are prepared to pile up congressional inquiries for partisan consumption — and to try to protect their embattled president.